A few years back the actor/director Robert Rietty did a series of Sunday afternoon radio talks. My wife and I really enjoyed listening to the true stories he recounted. I recall one involved a Jewish couple living in Israel shortly after the war. The wife had felt compelled to take in a refugee child who had just arrived in the country. Her husband was angry about this as they were not wealthy and could barely support themselves, let alone look after a child who was badly traumatised after escaping the Holocaust. I'm probably not recounting this story exactly as it happened, but if memory serves me right, the wife heard the child exclaim "Mutti!" She rushed in to find the child looking through her own family photo album and pointing at a photograph of her sister who had died in one of Hitler's extermination camps. She had unwittingly taken in her own sister's child.
Last weekend was our thirty-third wedding anniversary and we headed off to London for a fun day of 'museum action'. We took in the Handel Museum and the Foundling Hospital Museum (which of course Handel was a great supporter of). It was a lovely day, and visiting a museum with my wife Judith is a bit like taking a walk through woodland with a springer spaniel - the enthusiasm is tangible! On the train up to London we had briefly discussed what had happened concerning a request I'd received last December from a member of the Dunvant Male Voice Choir (near Swansea, South Wales) to reprint a blog article I'd written. They'd asked if they could use it in their annual choir magazine. It had been about my old English teacher at Gowerton Boys' Grammar School, Gilbert Bennett, who'd been at one time Vice President of the Dunvant Choir. After emailing the article off as requested I hadn't heard anymore about it.
So, to the point: I hardly if ever look at visitor books and my wife invariably does. However on this occasion, I did and she didn't. We were at the Handel Museum on Saturday 9 March. The last entry in the visitors' book was from the day before, 8 March, and it read:
I love singing the Hallelujah Chorus - Happy memories of Gowerton School and Ebenezer Chapel, Dunvant - K M, Dunvant, Swansea. (I use initials but the full name was given).
At such a coincidence, I think all one can do is nod the head, smile and say to oneself, "The world is indeed a weird and wondrous place!"